Helping address societal problems has always been one of the most important priorities in my work. That is why founding the Secretariat of the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network was a natural thing for me to do. I am happy to see that the decision I made in the past led to the evolution of a Network that creates new values for the society. None of us would be able to achieve that much acting on our own.
I believe that the biggest achievements for the Network are still in the future and that every step, every success is a passage to bigger achievements, but all of them are significant and meaningful. In the immediate future, the organisation will be challenged to manage the growth of the Network’s operations due to the prospect of a regional project funded by the Global Fund. I am certain though that the Secretariat will maintain and actively foster transparency in carrying out its activities, will wisely manage relationships between the Network’s members, rationally allocate resources and set priorities in various countries in order to reduce social exclusion in the region.
When Secretariat of Eurasian Harm Reduction Network was being established in Vilnius there was a wish that this NGO would stimulate changes on societal level in Lithuania and all the region and would help people to overcome post-soviet stereotypes much faster, because those stereotypes are extremely deep, especially when it comes to human rights and drug use contol. It seemed that Vilnius is the right place to establish the organization, because historically it always has been multicultural city between East and West, where cultural tolerance and close relationship with all the nations were strongly valued.
Despite the fact that Network became the strongest NGO in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia regions and intensive work most of the countries are still strongly affected by deep post-comunist stereotypes. Post-soviet countries are still experiencing strong impact of those stereotypes despite all the work and effort of politicians and ordinary people. Stimulating change of society, racional and non-corupted policy is still one of the biggest challange for Eurasian Harm Reduction Network.